Yes, costs are a major concern for shale companies but there is something else. Shale drilling has evolved massively and many processes have automatized beyond anything even hardened upstreamers thought possible years ago. The journey is not anything close to ending. The shale revolution has made the US the innovation hub for all oil drilling – I prefer calling it oil harvesting. Primitive oil and gas are on their way out – in come high-tech oil and gas.
The recovery of the shale patch workforce is still years in the making despite the frothy profits that rallying crude prices are generating for U.S. oil companies and their contractors.